SpaceX appears to have encountered some problems during a recent test which took place in Florida. The company stated that equipment was affected by an issue, possibly a small explosion, but there were no injuries. Select sources claim that the Dragon capsule used in the test malfunctioned, and smoke was visible above the test area. The event was quite surprising since the Dragon capsule was tested successfully in March, when the spacecraft reached the International Space Station without issues, during an uncrewed test flight.
SpaceX Dragon capsule faced some issues during a test
The Dragon is a standalone spacecraft able to transport humans and cargo payloads to orbital targets, and it is the only spacecraft which can carry a significant amount of cargo back to Earth. At this point, it is used to carry load, but SpaceX designed the Dragon from the start as a vehicle able to carry humans.
The spacecraft offers a maximum capacity of seven seats placed in a pressurized section. The trunk of the spacecraft can hold unpressurized cargo, and it is also a vital component since it supports the capsule as it travels towards space. When the spaceship returns to Earth the trunk is detached before the entrance in the atmosphere.
NASA commissioned the capsule as a part of a more significant contract offered to SpaceX.
SpaceX continues to be the most critical asset for space flights
Elon Musk, a well-known businessman and entrepreneur, founded the company in 2002. The primary aim is to develop affordable space transportation means, which will be harnessed in the colonization of Mars.
In the recent years, SpaceX has achieved several feats among which we can count the successful development of the reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the fact that it is the first private company which managed to send a spacecraft to the international space station and much more.
The success of prior initiatives convinced NASA to offer several other contracts to SpaceX, a decision which was criticized by some voices.
If the current issues are solved, the first crewed tests could take place in 2020. It remains to be seen if the capsule will manage to pass through the draconic safety tests imposed by NASA.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.